For example, the third COVID-19 relief bill raised from $15 million to $60.5 million the funds available in the state’s Job Retention Grant program. It also provides up to $250,000. The deadline for filing is Sept. 25.
The state Commerce Department plans to award grants by early October.
However, to qualify, small businesses must have kept 90% of their employees on their payroll from mid-March through May 31.
Minges tweeted when that when HB1105 cleared the General Assembly on Sept. 3 that “the small business grant program … does nothing to help restaurants, bars, gyms. etc., that were forced to close and lay off staff.”
“Can’t we remove the 90% employee retention requirement for JUST THOSE BUSINESSES? No help for those with the most need.”
Minges also tweeted that restaurants, hotels and bars “can’t take on more debt, and many will not survive.”
Not enough grant support
During the floor debate on HB1105, Senate Democrats submitted an amendment that would have shifted up to $30 million toward small business grants to help pay for rent, mortgages and other facility costs.
The amendment was tabled by Republican leadership.
The restaurant and lodging association supported House Bill 1224, a bipartisan attempt designated to assist restaurants, motels and hotels with up to $125 million in loans via North Carolina’s portion of the federal CARES Act.